There's more to Bayeux than a tapestry 70 metres long and nine centuries old. Bayeux is one of the few towns in the region to survive WW2 relatively unscathed. So all the charming 13th through 18th Century buildings are still there in the centre of town. From the wooden Norman houses, some which now count as some of the best places to stay in Bayeux, to the great Gothic cathedral.
The famous cloth depicting the Norman conquest wasn't made here, it was made in England, but was 'discovered' here when it was being displayed in Bayeux Cathedral. And it's now kept here in the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux. It's long, but it's not high: only 50cms, and is in 50 or so different panels, or scenes, each with an image, in surprisingly fresh colours, with a description in Latin.
If you're here to see the beaches and battlefields you'll find the 80km stretch of D-Day landing beach is just open sand, fringed occasionally by a fishing village or seaside resort. And of course the many memorials, museums and cemeteries commemorating that period. There are lots of small museums and memorials but in Bayeux you'll find the Commonwealth War Cemetery, the largest British Commonwealth wartime cemetery in France, home to the graves of 4,144 British dead, and the memorial for another 1,800 whose bodies were never recovered. And the Bayeux Military Museum. Between Bayeux and Isigny Sur Mer there's a German Military Cemetery, containing the graves of more than 21,000 German soldiers.
As well as exploring the region's history, the best places to stay in Bayeux have plenty of information which could lead you to the coast or a wider area where there are a number of very pretty local market towns worth visiting.
Don't forget to sample the cuisine and explore the rest of Normandy.
A charming rustic farmhouse just outside of Bayeux. Gorgeous traditional french rooms with chintz fabrics, beamed ceilings and white washed exposed stone work. A large garden ideal for children or simply relaxing. Indulgent breakfasts. Well located for exploring Normandy. A lovely rural abode.
A smart sand-stone fronted B&B in the centre of Bayeux. Just two large and elegant bedrooms with parquet floors and high ceilings. Lovely garden and terrace. Ideal for a family or group of four.
A plush hotel in central Bayeux minutes from the Bayeux Tapestry and D-Day landing beaches. Opulent rooms with rich fabrics and huge beds and excellent views of the cathedral. An upmarket hotel to explore the region from.